Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Re:  Data backup

I've got a 500GB drive connected to my Airport Extreme that makes hourly backups of my Mac and Julie's MacBook (via Time Machine).  But this does me no good in the event of a fire or theft or lightening strike (you think that $29 surge protector is really gonna save your stuff?).

I've been researching off site backups and looked at Mozy and Amazon S3 but the best service by far is by a company called CrashPlan.  It's a one time fee of $25.  You make a backup to an external drive over your LAN then plug that drive into a computer off site (I'll use my parents Mac or put one in Julie's office).  

The CrashPlan software makes a nightly backup over the 'net.  It's all encrypted/verified/cross platform etc and in the event that you need to restore your data you can move that drive back to your computer (avoiding the slowness of restoring from the net).  It's all very "mac" cool.

Anyway...with over 10k photo's (mostly RAW), gigs and gigs of video, 12k mp3's, years of personal stuff, julie's work would really suck to lose it all.


Rob said...

Sounds cool, but I must be missing a step. You backup your home computers to an external HD, then take that external HD off-site, connect to the internet and then back-up to the net. So, any subsequent changes on your home computers require the whole process to be repeated? Why not just backup to the net from home? (See, I must have missed something).

BTW - do you use WKO+ and CT apps on your mac? If so, how? Parallels? Boot Camp?



Rich W said...

it's just the initial backup that you do onsite because it would take a very long time to backup hundreds of GB's over the net. Then when the HD is offsite it will only need to backup the changes that were made on a daily basis via the Internet. The HD stays off site until you need it for a restore. It took me a while to get my head around this process too but it's pretty simple.

I use parallels and wko with my powertap.

Rich W said...

Also, everything CAN be done totally over the net if you don't have tons of stuff to backup. And you don't even need an external drive, you can use the HD of anyone offsite.

Joel said...

Why "mostly RAW"? Doesn't the raw format, by definition mean that you will eventually get around to opening each one and tweaking it in PS? I bet that there are not enough free hours left in your (or my) life to ever get around to clearing that backlog! Just saying...shoot in JPEG and distribute pics on every new computer you ever get plus CD/DVDs & HDDs at home, work, family, etc. Granted, nightly over-the-net backups are great if they are cheap or free, but it's hard to justify it over the long term unless you really can't lose more than one day's worth work (data.)

Rich W said...

If you've seen my smugmug site you'll know that I like my photos to have a pretty wide dynamic range which you can't get with post processing with JPG. In fact what you can do with RAW is pretty amazing and I'd never consider going back to JPG. I use Aperture instead of PS 90% of the time.

I don't tweak every picture I take but I do tweak every "keeper" shot. I'm a ruthless editor and can go from a couple hundred to a couple dozen "keeper" photos pretty quick. With some presets in Aperture my tweaking isn't that time consuming.

You kind of lost me on backup comment...For me it's pretty easy to justify nightly or hourly off site backups cuz I don't want to lose data.